Connecting to Capital: Meet Your Funding Match

Women business owners have big plans for the future!

According to our recent survey, 91% feel optimistic about the next year and over 77% plan to apply for funding to accomplish their goals.

In honour of International Women’s Day, Women’s Enterprise Centre is hosting a fun, interactive discussion about accessing capital focused on the future, and we want to unite you with the funding programs aligned with your goals.

We’ve invited panelists from different sources and stages of funding to answer questions, posed by local woman entrepreneur (and past WEC loan client), Vivian McCormick, Co-Owner of Flax Sleep!

On March 10, we’ll explore:

  • Highlights from our insightful new report, sharing the funding paths of over 400 BC women entrepreneurs and how current options do – and don’t – fit
  • How to choose the right funding for your business, at each stage
  • New funding models that you might not know about
  • How to develop a strong application or presentation

After the panel, we’ll go into virtual breakout rooms so you have a chance to connect directly with funders and Business Advisors in a matchmaking session.

This is your event! We encourage you to bring your burning questions and share your experience, so we can work together to connect you with capital.

At the end, you’ll feel inspired and empowered to plan your funding journey, and you can connect with a WEC Business Advisor if you have more questions.

Facilitator: Vivian McCormick, Co-Founder, Flax Sleep


  • Melanie Rupp, Director, Loans & Advisory Services, Women’s Enterprise Centre
  • Tara Lamond, Small Business Advisor, Community Business and Investment, Vancity Credit Union
  • Irene Dorsman, Director and CEO, Angel Forum
  • Tricia Chio, BDC Senior Account Manager, Entrepreneurship Centre

Who is this for?

This session is right for you if you:

  • Are a current or aspiring woman business owner who is looking for funding
  • Have self-funded your business and are looking to explore some external options
  • Have been impacted by the recent pandemic and are curious what financial support is available to you
  • Are a champion of women entrepreneurs and would like to gain more insights on their funding needs

It’s never too early or too late to explore the world of funding!

To make sure everyone has a chance to interact and make connections, we’re capping registrations and spots are FCFS. Grab your seat today!

This event is now full! Due to incredible interest in this session, we’ll be live streaming the panel discussion on our YouTube channel. Join us >>

Event Details

Wednesday, March 10
9:00am – 10:30am PST



9:00 to 9:10Introductions & Sharing New Research
Jill Earthy, CEO of Women’s Enterprise Centre
9:10 to 9:50Panel Discussion and Q&A
9:50 to 10:30Breakout Sessions

Meet the panelists

Vivian McCormick (Facilitator)

Co-Owner, Flax Sleep

Melanie Rupp

Director, Loans & Advisory Services, Women’s Enterprise Centre

Melanie leads a team of knowledgeable business advisors and loan administration staff, oversees the loan portfolio and cultivates strong relationships with our lending partners. Melanie supports women entrepreneurs to build successful companies utilizing her years of banking experience in senior management roles in the areas of Commercial Banking, Risk Management, Operations, Marketing and Human Resources. Melanie has worked exclusively with women entrepreneurs as a Business Advisor for the past 15 years.

Tara Lamond

Small Business Advisor, Community Business and Investment, Vancity Credit Union

Tara partners with small business owners and solopreneurs to achieve their dreams and influence them to think differently when it comes to creating positive impact in the local economy through meaningful conversations. She believes that by doing this we can create a more holistic future around sustainability and making better choices when it comes to how we do business. Tara has been in the financial service industry since 2004 with a variety of roles from Lending to Management experience, She brings her passion and expertise to understanding the needs of her community and members. One of her favorite things to do is support through financial literacy, this rewarding work allows for her to see others feel empowered by taking charge of their own financial futures.

Irene Dorsman

Director and CEO, Angel Forum

Irene is currently Director and CEO of Angel Forum, Vancouver’s longest running angel network. She is an active investor and also a founding partner/investor of Women’s Equity Lab (WEL), Vancouver chapter. Irene has worked and consulted with many early stage companies in both the tech and resource sectors in Canada.

Prior to coming to Vancouver, Irene was the Executive Director of the Dutch Business Association (now Dutch Chamber of Commerce) in Hong Kong. Before that she held a senior marketing position with Dutch pharmaceutical group Gist-Brocades in Hong Kong and Jakarta, Indonesia.

Tricia Chio

BDC Senior Account Manager, Entrepreneurship Centre

Over 28 years of experience in the financial industry, Tricia is a development banker and enabler of collaboration at every stage of the entrepreneur’s journey. She takes the time to understand each business’s unique challenges and opportunities, fostering trusted relationships, as well as providing customized practical business solutions which are then combined with tailored financing, to meet respective entrepreneur’s growth objectives.

Tricia is passionate in supporting small and medium sized enterprises and has expertise in a myriad of sectors. She is an advocate for women entrepreneurs, as well as purpose driven businesses.